From the last half of the 19th century and during most of the 20th century, close to a thousand commercial salmon canneries dotted the West Coast of North America, from California’s Sacramento River to Alaska’s Bristol Bay. Each summer tens of thousands of people from diverse ethnic backgrounds would congregate in these canneries for four months as salmon began heading up rivers to spawn. Many of these canneries, especially in British Columbia, were located in remote locations, which made for a very unique work and living experience. Today, only a handful of these facilities remain.
North Pacific Cannery is unique among the few surviving sites. It was established in 1889 and is the oldest remaining fish cannery on the West Coast of North America and ran continuously for almost 100 years. Because of its unique history and the fact it is one of the very few remote canneries that is almost entirely intact, North Pacific Cannery has been designated a National Historic Site by Parks Canada.
As a visitor to North Pacific, you will be in awe of its remarkable river setting on Inverness Passage and wandering amongst the buildings set on wood piles, you will be transported back to the hectic days of cannery life. Tours, exhibits, historic photos and interpretation set against its historic backdrop will bring to life the characters and the story of North Coast salmon canneries. Displays are housed in historic buildings and guided tours describe the canning process, fishing methods and living conditions.
North Pacific Cannery also offers visitors other services. The old Mess Hall has unique, historically inspired food. The old Bunkhouse is an affordable lodgings full of authentic character in beautiful scenery. The gift shop, located in the recently completed Visitor Orientation Centre in the old can factory, offers a wide selection paraphernalia related to the salmon canning industry as well as carrying crafts and products that exemplify the talent and creativity of the province.